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NCP backs Manmohan for PM

india Updated: Mar 26, 2009 00:25 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
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Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday formally backed Manmohan Singh as the prime ministerial candidate of the United Progressive Alliance for another term. Sabha polls.

The decision comes after much political discussion and speculation over NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s prime ministerial aspirations. Pawar had earlier this month told a television channel that Maharashtrian sentiment was to have a prime minister from the state.

“Nearly six months back, Mr Pawar himself endorsed Manmohan Singh as the prime ministerial candidate for UPA. NCP has only been saying that UPA alliance should fight the polls,’’ D.P. Tripathi, the general secretary of NCP told HT.

When asked whether this did not amount to a turnaround since the party had been projecting Pawar as the prime ministerial candidate, he said: “There is no confusion. As a party, the cadre will want Pawar as the prime minister.”

Tripathi added, “There are several other considerations for the Prime Ministerial post. We support Singh as the UPA candidate for the top job.’’

NCP senior leaders and functionaries had endorsed Pawar for the top job and the move had even met with approval from the Shiv Sena then.

However, post the seat-sharing agreement in Maharashtra, Pawar seems to have backed out of the race.